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108 MCY-M11, a CAR-PBMC cell product transiently expressing a mesothelin targeted mRNA CAR, exhibits desirable functional and immune phenotype attributed to sustained antitumor immunity in vitro
  1. Sashi Kasimsetty,
  2. Himavanth Gatla and
  3. Dhana Chinnasamy
  1. CARMA Cell Therapies™, Gaithersburg, MD, USA


Background MCY-M11, an anti-mesothelin CAR (Meso-CAR) mRNA transfected PBMC cell product manufactured through <1 day-process is under clinical evaluation for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma. In this in-vitro study, we characterized the phenotypic and functional status of immune cell populations in MCY-M11 and their possible role in antitumor immunity.

Methods MCY-M11 cell product were generated using unmanipulated healthy donor PBMCs (n=5) by transfection of Meso-CAR mRNA using MaxCyte’s proprietary Flow Electroporation® system. Frozen MCY-M11 cell product was thawed and cultured for 18 hours, then co-cultured with hMSLNneg or hMSLNpos human mesothelioma cell line, MSTO-211H, or stimulated with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 antibodies in vitro for 8 days. Distinct cell populations in MCY-M11 were evaluated for kinetics and duration of CAR expression, differentiation, activation, exhaustion, and their ability to secrete various immunomodulatory molecules during in vitro stimulation. Antigen-specific proliferation and cytotoxicity of MCY-M11 against hMSLNpos tumor cells as well as their ability to mount long-term antitumor immunity through epitope spreading mechanisms were studied.

Results Individual cell populations in MCY-M11 exhibited a consistent but transient Meso-CAR expression persisting for about 7 days. Cell subsets in MCY-M11 acquired early signs of activation and differentiation within 18–24 hours post-culture, but only attained full activation and lineage-specific differentiation upon specific response to hMSLNpos tumor cells. hMSLN antigen experienced MCY-M11 retained significant fractions of Naïve and Central Memory T cells and increased percentage of Effector Memory T cells along with increased expression of CD62L, CD27, and chemokine receptors (CCR5, CCR7, and CXCR3). MCY-M11 exhibited strong antigen-specific cytotoxicity against hMSLNpos tumor cells with corresponding increase in activation and proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets and displayed low or no acquisition of known exhaustion markers. NK cells also exhibited a functionally superior molecular signature exhibiting increased levels of NKG2D, NKp44, NKp46, FAS, and TRAIL. The Monocytes and B cells in MCY-M11 also acquired an activated, differentiated, and mature phenotype, expressing molecules required for antigen presentation (HLA-DR, HLA-ABC, and CD205) and T cell co-stimulation (CD80 and CD86) to mount a strong antitumor response. These phenotypic changes in cell subsets of MCY-M11 transpired with simultaneous secretion of potent immunostimulatory molecules and chemokines facilitating an extended antitumor response through epitope spreading.

Conclusions We demonstrated that MCY-M11 is a unique cell product possessing a complete built-in immune cellular machinery with favorable phenotype and enhanced functions specialized in mediating an effective and long-term antitumor response.

Trial Registration NCT03608618

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